McTours deliver Luxury Motorcycle Tours
Our European motorcycle touring holidays offer a luxury, unique and memorable vacation at an affordable price and are a contrast to the typical biking holiday package; you will travel at a leisurely pace, live in quality accommodation, explore wonderful locations, visit interesting places, eat wholesome local produce and of course you will be riding some of the best biking roads in Europe.
Our tours are more about the road more than the destination. We take you to interesting places but we get there by riding the less travelled twisty back roads that will challenge you at times, offer breath-taking scenery across diverse landscapes and when we stop it tends to be at a place of interest such as a historical site rather than just a roadside cafe for a quick refreshment.
Daily journeys are typically around 200 miles with stops every 50 miles (about 90 minutes riding).
We offer motorcycle hire on all our tours. You will find the range of bikes available listed on each tour detail page including BMW Motorcycles, Honda Motorcycles, Harley-Davidson Motorcycles and Suzuki Motorcycles and a few other brands on special request.
We only use carefully selected quality hotels. Most accommodation is in 4 star hotels and booked for dinner bed and breakfast.
Our guides are all highly skilled riders who know the routes well. These core staff of six motorcyclists are all National or Senior Observers with groups affiliated to the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM). They are not only excellent riders but they also know many alternative roads that can be taken should a road be blocked of adverse weather closes in.
McTours operates in strong partnership with motorcycle dealerships and other motorcycle rental companies.
Here is what we offer that is different:
- Experience: All tours have two guides who lead and tail the group. These guides are all Qualified Senior Observers from the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) and highly skilled riders and trainers.
- Quality: We use only the best hotels from brands such as Hilton, Doubletree by Hilton, Best Western and privately owned establishments such as Chateau des Vigires.
- Variety: We provide a broad range of motorcycles. These motorbikes are in pristine condition using mainly the latest machines.
- Size: We limit the size of each group to a maximum of eight riders accompanied by two guides. (6 riders plus 2 guides is most typical)
- Location: On many tours we select fixed locations and return to base each day so you have no baggage to carry or tour to a range of interesting locations and take your baggage in our support vehicle. You can tour Scotland from just a day tour up to a 9 day package, France for 5 to 9 days visits Loire Valley, Dordogne and Provence, Switzerland is a popular 5 day trip in the mountains around Lake Geneva and then there is Italy where we have 5 to 9 day tours in the Lakes and Alps, Tuscany, The Amalfi Coast, Sicily and Southern Italy. These operate most years and our bespoke tours offer other alternative European Motorcycle Touring destinations such as Portugal, Spain, Austria, Germany or the Baltic region giving you a broad selection of European Motorcycle Tours to choose from.
- Couples: We offer a biking holiday that allows your non biking partner to join in without ever needing to ride a bike.
Enjoy The Twisty Roads
For us it is all about road more than the destination. Don't misunderstand us, we choose interesting places to stop and visit but the road we take to get there is rarely a highway. Prudent road selection takes riders across diverse landscapes snaking along roads that will be single track at times to ensure the best rider experience available is always picked and that no rider will ever be disappointed by the tour.
If you study the routes on this site you will note that we typically stop every 90 minutes and cover about 50 miles between stops. Further investigation would show that the roads we ride have a 60 m/h speed limit in the UK and 90-110 km/h on the continent, so, you may well wonder why it should take so long to cover such a short distance. Well get right down to street level and you will find that the roads we chose have bend after bend and these twists and turns mean that you will rarely get up to the limit for the road. Added to that we travel through areas of outstanding beauty and so it is inevitable that riders might want to stop along the way for photographs. All in all an average of nearer 30mph (50kmph) is more typical.
These stops will range from roadside cafes where we catch a quick refreshment before getting back on the road to historic buildings and sites where a little time can be spent exploring.
Daily journeys will therefore vary but are unlikely to be less than 140 miles (~225km) or greater than 230 miles (~270km) with two or three main stops taken. Time in the saddle will be around 6 hours and allowing for stops each route will last at least 8 hours from leaving after breakfast until arriving back for dinner.
Motorcycle Hire Available
Working in partnership with over 60 mainstream dealers we source a range of motorbike makes and model for our clients. Therefore, whether you like a Cruiser, an Adventure, a Sports, naked or fared bike there is always a machine to suit every kind of rider. At most locations we have BMW's and Harley-Davidson and at some locations we can access Ducati, Honda, Kawasaki, Moto-Guzzi, Suzuki, Triumph or Yamaha
These well-established motorcycle dealers not only supply but insure and service the bikes hired to riders who select the rental option with their tour and so you can rest assured that your bike will be available at the start of the tour in pristine condition.
Naturally riders can bring their own machines but they must ensure that they are appropriately insured to ride their machine within a group in the countries we shall pass through on each tour. Proof that such insurance exists must be given to the tour guide before we embark upon our first ride.
Carefully Selected Quality hotels
Quality accommodation plays a very important role in any motorcycle tour. However, a good clean hotel with great food is only part of the list of essentials we seek when we vet the overnight stops on our tours.
Many of our tours operate from a fixed base allowing the entire family an opportunity to join in without necessarily riding each day. We want them to have lots of fun things to do whilst we are out riding and believe that it is of paramount importance to find hotels with superb leisure amenities like swimming pools, saunas, and health spas; great sports facilities including golf courses, tennis courts etc., at the hotel or close to the resort. Likewise, to ensure the non-riding family members have plenty to do we look for other tourist attractions close to the hotel to cater for all interests.
We preview all that is on offer staying overnight in all selected hotels to ensure they exceed our minimum criteria. This testing includes sampling the food and if not up to scratch we might occasionally see if it is better at a nearby restaurant to access whether that might be a better option. Most of the hotels are only too pleased to meet our exact requirements and will offer a selection of meals for vegetarians, vegans, celiac and those with specific dietary requirements.
Consequently, all hotels are rated at least 3 stars with privately owned and operated Country Club Resorts, Hilton and Best Western brands being prominent in our selection. These carefully selected hotels offer quality, comfort, good food and where possible have full leisure facilities. So, you can loosen up after your day in the saddle before enjoying a nice meal and comfortable bed.
Associating with such quality hotels coupled to our bringing a wealth of expertise offers a real alternative proposition to the typical biking holiday. We think this gives us a competitive advantage. But you can be the judge and decide whether you would rather tolerate shared B&B or dormitory accommodation to our offering, a private luxury hotel room. Just tell us what you think. We are always willing to listen.
Highly Skilled Motorcycle Guides
The roads we travel will be challenging at times but help is always at hand because all our motorbike guides are highly skilled and enthusiastic motorcyclists; our six guides collectively have been riding motorcycles for over 250 years! They are all National or Senior Observers within groups affiliated to the Institute of Advanced Motorists and are therefore well accustomed to observing riders, giving feedback and organising long distance motorcycle runs. They will be delighted to offer you guidance to help you improve your riding; all you need do is ask
Four Unique Tour Propositions
We offer National circuits, Regional Tours, Short Breaks and Bespoke Tours. Each of these propositions addresses a different rider requirement and so we are confident that there will be a bike tour to suit every type of motorcyclist and their guest or pillion.
National circuits provide an opportunity to familiarise the rider with all that the country has to offer. This tour covers large parts of a country stopping at a different hotel each of the night of the tour. Take for example our Scottish base where the landscape of the lowlands differs greatly from that of the highlands. Riders taking a tour of Scotland would sample both and gain a better understanding and appreciation of the areas they would like to return to and explore in greater detail. The one drawback that this type of tour has is that come rain hail or shine you must straddle the saddle and make way to the next stop on the map! This will not appeal to some especially a pillion who is unaccustomed to long bike runs.
Some of our National Tours operate from just a few bases which afford some flexibility and journeys can be adjusted to catch better weather on the day. E.g. on an eight day tour four nights might be spent at each of two hotels. A rider or their pillion can elect not to participate every day (other than on the day we move from the first to second base) because the group will be returning to the same hotel. This option helps a rider better explore two regions whilst still giving a flavour of the country at large.
Our Regional tours operate from a fixed base in the centre of the area to be toured. In Scotland we use the Doubletrees by Hilton Dunblane Hydro Hotel because this is ideally located to reach both highlands and lowland of Scotland within a 200 mile daily circuit. Likewisem Chateau des Vigiers in France is an excellent base to tour the Dordogne.
All of our fixed base tour are cantered at a luxury hotel resort where we stay for eight consecutive nights of a typical tour. This longer stay in one hotel affords greater negotiating power with the resort enabling us to offer our customers high standard accommodation at highly competitive prices. This tour offering is ideal for the rider whose partner has little or no interest in biking because they can relax by the pool, go off sightseeing or shopping and enjoy the resort facilities while their other half is away biking. This fixed location is carefully selected to be central to a region allowing the area to be fully explored taking a different route each day to ensure that the best biking roads the area has to offer are experienced.
Operating from a luxury Hotel or Country Club and using Motorcycles supplied by local dealers enables riders to explore an area without the arduous journey of getting to the region.
We never cancel a tour even if there is only one person booked on it. This often means that we run a tour at a loss but overall, we do make a profit but it is not excessive. Most of our guides do their job because they enjoy it and often work for free if there are too few people on a tour to otherwise make it viable.
Our package clearly states what is included in the price. Some holidays include luxury accommodation, food and motorbike hire with daily return-to-base guided tours. Others only provide accommodation and selected meals, so please double check our Tour Includes and Tour Excludes areas to ensure you are asking for the right package.
We will happily give you a detailed cost breakdown so that you know the precise cost of each hotel and every meal together with the cost associated with planning and co-ordinating the tour and of course the costs relating to the tour guide or guides. If you want a break down just ask but this overview might help.
Until this year and the Covid-19 pandemic I had never cancelled a tour, so, even if there was just one person booked, McTours still delivered. This means some tours lose money while others turn a profit. Overall, I’m happy if I can break even because this is not my source of income. I have never drawn a wage from McTours or paid myself a dividend. The business more or less breaks even.
For every day of a tour, I probably spend 3 days planning. This involves visits to the area and traversing all the roads to see which works best. I visit café’s, places of interest etc where we stop to again access which might be best. Then I look at hotels to see which offers the best value for money without compromising standards. All this takes time and when tallied up accounts for about £600 per day that needs to be recovered from the tour we deliver.
Our tours are all guided. As a rule of thumb if there are 4 of fewer riders, I guide the tour unsupported. As the numbers grow, I need to consider if additional support is needed. This can involve adding a rear sweeper to ensure no one gets lost. On some tours we also add a support van and that too adds to the cost. This also means that tour guide and support staff need to be accommodated so you cannot simply look at the price of your hotel room and expect the price of the tour to be commensurate.
All things taken into consideration on average we need to charge £250 per rider per day plus the cost of accommodation just to cover our costs. So, if we went to a hostel that charged £10 per person per night, we would still need to charge £260 for that night. I think we’d get complaints if we did that! That’s why we chose upmarket accommodation. With average hotel price around £250 per night to include dinner and breakfast for one. If charged £500 for that night folks find it more palatable than they would have with the hostel example. Furthermore, if you add a pillion, we only add a modest extra to cover insurance and their meals.
On the point of insurance, we carry extensive insurance including Insolvency protection so that our clients can rest assured that their funds are secure with us until we fully deliver the tour and that in the unlikely event something happened, they should be covered. This adds about £100 per person to the cost of a tour.
If we chose lower rated hotels, the kind I would stay at when planning a tour, and only included B&B so each gets their own dinner, then I could cut that price by about £140 per day.
I hope that better explains our business model and tour proposition and on reflection you can see that our prices are fair.